Hendrick teams guarding against parts failures

Dale Jr.
Dale Jr.

Hendrick Motorsports took time in its weekly meetings to address the parts failure that cost Jimmie Johnson a shot at a seventh championship. Johnson was eliminated in the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when an axle seal broke on his car Sunday at Dover.

The failure occurred 103 laps into the race and he finished 41st to fall into the bottom four of the Chase standings. While the issue could be a quality control problem, Jeff Gordon said HMS discussed ways to "make sure that's not something that bites us going forward.

"If I wrote down the list of inexpensive parts on the car that can fail at anytime on any given weekend, you'd blow your mind," he said. "It's unfortunate that it happened, and trying to actually diagnose exactly what caused it and why it happened, it's tough. Other teams will tell you these kinds of little gremlins can reach out and grab you at any time."

Gordon said HMS, which still has Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase, can take "procedural" steps to guard against failures. "I think we can take some extra precautions to maybe make it better, but there's more of a long-term solution to it that we can't really address right now," he said. Associated Press